Friday, 27 February 2015


  • Pilotfishmen
Tiny. Yellow. Stripey. Weird faces. Worship large ocean predators as gods. Wherever you find a kraken, say, or a pod of whales, or even just a big shark, you will find some of these guys lurking around nibbling on its parasites. In the case of something intelligent like a kraken this basically just forms a clan of expendable mooks that it uses to do its bidding on land in what would probably be the most standard and boring campaign ever. In the case of something dumber like a sea serpent or a giant three-headed dragon turtle that grants wishes if you steal the right jewel from its forehead but the other two jewels are cursed, the pilotfishmen get to make all the decisions. This means finding places for it to spawn, reliable sources of its favourite food, coming up with clever ways to exterminate particularly insidious parasites. A leviathan will often have a colony of pilotfishmen living in hollowed-out barnacles on its back.

Pilotfishmen also worship ships. You will never convince them that ships are not alive. They will follow in the wake of a trading vessel for miles and are considered good luck by the sailors, who don't generally realize that the pilotfishmen see them as parasites which need to be torn apart and eaten. If a pilotfishman ever actually manages to exterminate all humans aboard a ship then when it starts to sink he will have an existential crisis and become a kind of Pilotfishman Nietzche, dedicated to the eradication of all large ocean predators everywhere.

  • Fightingfishmen
Tall, slender, genteel and eloquent, fightingfishmen are the elves of the fishman world. They build arcades and palaces in shallow rivers and pools of stagnant water, out of sticky froth they exude from their mouths and that only lasts a couple of weeks. They are renowned watercolourists, excellent cooks (although their cuisine is largely insect-based) and have perfected a highly allusive form of stand-up comedy that's more like beat poetry than anything else. When they laugh it sounds like a polite gurgle. They can breath air for much longer than most fishmen, having a specially adapted labyrinth organ which allows them to survive in the oxygen-poor waters of their native jungles (this is a real thing in the real world go google it right now), and so are often invited to human dinner parties.

Any two male fightingfishmen who meet for the first time must engage in a courteously orchestrated combat ritual until one of them backs down or is seriously injured. They are deeply embarrassed about this and would prefer you didn't talk about it. There's a whole culture around arranging for fishmen (as opposed to fishwomen) to meet in private for the first time where they can try to kill each other with nobody watching. Fightingfishmen prefer not to carry weapons in case they hurt someone. They are intensely proud, however, and even though it means nothing they also really really don't want to back down from the aforementioned fights, so if you ask them why they don't just chicken out at the first opportunity you will only get evasive answers.

Some fightingfishmen actually get off on the fights. This is hugely taboo so of course it's also pretty common. There are places you can go, often oxbow lakes (which have a whole set of dangerous-but-sexy connotations in fightingfishmen culture), to watch fishmen get introduced to each other in pairs and engage in exhibitionistic fight sprees.  Fishmen who are into this will talk about the beauty and grace of combat and the way that it's the only place you feel truly alive but of course people still die, like, all the time. They will carry peculiar and exotic weapons, the more peculiar and exotic the better, like glaives and knobkerries and macuahuitls and shit.

Fightingfishmen get a bonus to movement speed and attack when fighting another fishman for the first time, but of course this cancels out and doesn't do anything but look cool.

  • Frogfishman
Frogfishmen are incredibly solitary creatures that do nothing but trudge along the ocean floor, blending in with their environments, eating whatever comes too close and thinking about philosophy. Frogfishmen are all geniuses. They are experts on 1d6 randomly selected schools of philosophy, all of which they have figured out for themselves through a process of pure Cartesian induction. Frogfishmen can't read and wouldn't have access to books if they did, so none of their knowledge is empirical, they just work everything out for themselves over time. They are excellent mathematicians, logicians and metaphysicists but know very little about the sciences and have only the most minimal concept of ethics. About a third of all frogfishmen believe in God, but only a single, unified God - none of them are polytheists.

A frogfishman hunts by luring a philosopher underwater, getting her to come close enough to ask it some troubling question about the universe, then massively expanding the volume of its mouth in a space of under six milliseconds and sucking her in.

  • Pufferfishmen
When frightened, startled, or disturbed in any way, the first reflex of a pufferfishman is to puff. By sucking in water very quickly it can double in size in under a second and cover itself in brightly-coloured spikes. This is extremely frightening, startling and disturbing. Pufferfishmen are gregarious, pompous, pedantic and uncomfortable with change, like members of the House of Lords. Even a single Act of Puff (as they insist on calling it) can trigger a chain reaction that results in whole townships inflating one by one until there's no more room for anybody to move and everyone's spiking everyone else in an uncomfortably intimate way. Like a village full of people who can't stop yawning because everyone else is. As a result, surprises are illegal in puffer society. Each township has its own incredibly rigid and unchangeable set of bureaucratic mandates designed to make every day exactly the same as every other one. Like in Piffington everyone has to buy a loaf of plankton at exactly 10:00 in the morning, in Poffershaven outsiders must be clean-shaven and always whistling. These are decided on by the Mayor of each township and his appallingly smug and complacent council of advisors, who have never changed their minds about anything, ever.

If a pufferfishman ever has any kind of radical epiphany she might literally explode. Imagine a rich man's monocle popping off so hard he dies. So new ideas are suppressed with brutal force, often by hired mercenaries (makomen, sea orcs, crab princesses, siphonophorcerers, that kind of thing) who can look at it without danger. Puffers might not mean any harm but if they get it into their heads that, e.g., slavery is okay, then you will have to labour thousands of years to get them to reconsider it even the smallest amount. Some of them are incredibly rich.

  • Koi boys
For hundreds of years the aristocrats of the Guang Dynasty have been breeding these decorative garden slaves. They plan, build, maintain and spawn in vast networks of terraced pools, artificial waterfalls, bridges, bamboo forests, fern beds and philosophically perfect rock gardens, all of which have been left to spread out indefinitely in every direction since the aristocrats of the Guang Dynasty were all dragged from their beds by peasants and sliced into little tiny pieces. Now vast patches of the countryside have been supplanted by these incredibly complex peace labyrinths, built to coexist in flawless harmony with their natural surroundings and to be totally useless in every other way. If left alone for even a week your average garden would disintegrate into ecological chaos, so the koi boys put a terrifying amount of time and effort into maintaining each individual facet, from the precise number of dragonflies in a given pond to the placement of individual waterlilies. They also run an intensely complex breeding program, choosing from thousands of koi boy babies the ones that are beautiful enough to be allowed to live and grinding the rest into a fine paste, which they use to fertilize the water lilies. Koi boys live up to a hundred years, have an elaborate internal hierarchy, are adorably clumsy and about as intelligent as ten-year-olds. It's like Lord of the Flies in there. The koi boy in charge of food distribution is actually called the Lord of the Flies because, you know, they eat those.

The leaders of the Peasant's Republic resent the koi boys for taking up prime agricultural land which could be used to feed their starving citizens. There's a small bounty out on the whiskers of any individual koi boy and a large reward for the destruction of particular gardens, which of course requires the obliteration of the koi boy tribes residing within. Koi boys aren't fighters but their gardens are of course heavily and ingeniously trapped and they also breed decorative guard animals like lammasu and dragon turtles. The koi boys don't use money but have access to the leftover treasures of the Guang Dynasty, with which they might reward you for e.g. fetching them a particularly nice rock. You'll have to venture into the now-decrepit treasure rooms yourself, though. They're not allowed inside the house.

  • Hagfishmen
Hagfishmen live in whalecorpse citadels on the ocean floor. Though sedentary by nature, poorer hagfishman communities are forced into nomadicism by the infrequency of whale deaths and wind up making vast journeys across the deep sea, moving from whalegrave to whalegrave as each one is stripped to the bone, preserving as much as they can for times of drought. Wealthier hagfishman communities trade for meat with the surface world, paying for it with commodities of the deep such as pearls, sulphur, luminescent bacteria and rare metals from their underwater mines. They are vitally important as a point of communication between the world of fishmen and the world of menmen.

Hagfish are all convinced that they are incredibly beautiful. Their sense of aesthetics in general is exactly the reverse of that of a human (or manman). This is how they can stand to live in their hideous lumpy castles of rotting flesh. Hagfishmen will often pay human or dwarven whalers (dwarven whaling is a whole thing) to herd pods of smaller cetaceans to the location of their enclaves before harpooning them, gutting them and letting the carcass and the intestines settle like streamers at a parade. This is always an occasion for celebration among the higher echelons of hagfishman society.

Hagfishmen can exude immense amounts of slime from vents all over their long, sinuous bodies, and will do this all the time for basically no reason. Sometimes it's to escape, sometimes it's to seize a decisive advantage in a negotiation, sometimes it's just to annoy you. The slime has no special qualities except for being incredibly slimy. Hagfishmen also collect curses, to which they are immune and with which they are incredibly fascinated. A hagfishmen will often offer a poor sailor a reasonably large sum of money if she can test out her brand new skin-to-fingernails malediction on what she will promise is only an isolated area of her body. Hagfishmen sometimes use curses as guarantors for an important deal and sometimes just throw them around like douchebags.

Hagfishman slime is a delicacy in certain parts of the world, used in a cuisine in a way similar to egg whites. Hagfishman meringue cures most curses and some diseases. Hagfishmen have no shortage of slime but have a vested interest in controlling the market and will not let you take any for free.

Hagfishman don't have writing. They communicate across long distances by tying bits of whale intestine into complicated coded knots. They can also tie their own bodies into the very same knots, and will use this as a form of sign language, more or less interchangeably with anything spoken. Among hagfishmen the difference between written and spoken language is not as clear as it is with us. The practice of divination by entrails is alive and well among hagfishmen and is often indistinguishable from architecture. Hagfishmen dolphingut sculpture prophecies are the object of many an ancient hagfishmen epic, and are about the only thing they're at all unwilling to sell.

Pilotfishmen hate hagfishmen.

The Seven Brothers' Cure

Perhaps I have a tale that can help you.

There was once a wicked old merchant who lived far from here. He made a life of cheating and capriciousness, and when he died he left behind only seven sons and a small orange grove. Ashmel was the oldest, proudest son, with the twins Amset and Aphtet following behind. Then came the corpulent Amon, conniving Arnemen and oafish Ankis. These sons were all as twisted as their father, but for the youngest, Abne, who had not yet come of age.

Because the sons thought only of themselves there was much bickering and strife withing the grove. Before long the trees began to wither and the vassals began to flee from the sons' lands. The sons, too proud to clean their tools or care for their orchards, retreated into their estate and began, one by one, to fall sick. With growing malaise, the sons soon began to stop going to market, and their gums began to bleed and their teeth began to fall from their mouths as punishment for their pride.

Sensing that the end of his family was near, the young Abne went into the woods and called upon fair Sekhemet to give him the chance to save not just himself, but his bloodline. Moved by his plea, Sekhemet sent to the orange grove a single duck, grown weak and weary. The six brothers left behind craved the flesh of the beast, but not a one dared sling a stone at the duck, for that was the work of vassals. When Abne returned and saw his brothers staring with longing at the beast he did not decry them for their pride, but simply picked up a stone and broke the beast's skull.

Taking up their prize and throwing it on the fire, the sons began to argue over how to divide their meal. Ashmel declared that, as the oldest, he would take the heart. Amset and Aphtet claimed the lungs, though each fought to lay hands on the larger of the two organs. Amon the fat, who had wasted over the months of sickness, took hold of the distended stomach, while Arnemen scooped out the duck's brains and Ankis cracked its bones for their marrow. Abne, though he had prayed for the duck, and slew it himself, was left with only the liver to eat. In his humility, Abne did not fight with his brothers, and when the meal was done he went to bed still hungry.

When the morning came, Abne woke to discover that his brothers had died in the night, their stomachs bloated on the thick fat of the duck. Grieving the loss of his family, Abne threw his arms to the sky and begged Sekhemet to explain why the duck had killed them all. When Abne heard the silence of the grove he realised that they had not all died, for he was still alive. Feeling in his bones the strength that the duck's liver had given him, Abne set out for town, and there resolved to pay his debts and rebuild his family's honour.

Go forth now and find a lake. Dismiss the geese and swans and prouder prey, and hunt only the small ducks that swim there. When you have killed a duck you must eat out its liver and give the rest of the meal to a passing monk. You must do this before all other business, and do it without bemoaning the task, for only then will Sekhemet see your humility and cure your wounds.

Protip this story was about curing scurvy.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Batterwitch(es)

As with most schools of magic, the use of doughcraft is spread far and wide throughout the world. Indeed, spellcasting through bread is such a varied and popular thaumaturgic art that some scholars have suggested that the discovery of magical yeasts sparked the ascent of some of the greater wizarding empires - most notably, the Leavened Palatinate and the Dominion of the Endless Rise. Despite this supposedly grand history, doughcraft has now been relocated, for the most part, to the category of hedge magic. Very few surviving witches have the powers once fabled of them, though enemies of a Batterwitch should not be shocked to find themselves waking up to their limbs crumbling away. Slowly. And deliciously.

This is a real human being. Think about that.

Practised almost exclusively by a single coven of Batterwitches, spread from the northern tips of the continent to the far south-west, it is apparent that all modern doughcraft draws its essence from a single strain of empowered yeast. A strand of this bizarre eukaryote is grown and cared for by each Batterwitch that wields its power. Slightly variations in the make-up of this yeast may account for the differences in each witch's power; some reliant on cakes and sweetmeats, while others work best with hardtack and pies, and some few wield the wicked magics of the enchanted wheat noodle.

A witch's yeast is usually carried in a small pouch tied about their waist, tucked into their cloak, or secreted under their hat - wherever it may be readily accessed for spellcasting. The health of each witch's dough is maintained with regular top-ups of fresh water and flour, as supplied by the huge packs the more migratory witches are now famous for toting. In return for this care, the yeast symbiotically feeds the Batterwitch's powers, supplying the raw magic necessary for their control of all goods that are baked, raised or slow brewed.

My secret inspiration:
Just as the old proverb states:
"google witch + sack and you will get accurate results"

Every witch learns at their first tutelage the secrets of maintaining a weevil-free larder, as well as the importance of a good hard kneading. While many Batterwitches choose the sedentary life it is hardly uncommon for a witch to take up their bindle and march off to find adventure. Such individuals will be hardened in the fires of the Great Oven, with a natural aptitude for fighting vermin and a resourcefulness that can only come from needing more wooden spoons than you have.

As playable characters, Batterwitches will have similar stats to Druids. Replace the trackless step and wildshape with bonus damage to vermin, resistance to fire and some kind of ridiculous combat bonus if they ever find themselves brawling in a kitchen. Arm your Batterwitches with items that at first seem innocuous: cookie-cutters; oddly sharp whisks; deadly yo-yos of elastic dough, and then get your witch to carve someone's eye out with their battlespoon. That'll teach you to laugh at old women. Some sample Batterwitch spells are included below:

Level 1 Batterwitch Spell.
The Batterwitch digs their fingertips into a loaf of bread, infesting the soft flesh within. When thrown, the loaf will burst open, spewing a thousand thousand weevils onto its target. The insects will swarm for up to three rounds, doing 1d3 per round, but can be killed with a round's effort and 1 damage worth of slapping yourself in the face/body. If the weevils land on anything similar to bread they can consume about a wheelbarrow's worth in the three rounds.

Level 2 Batterwitch Spell
Soft dough is packed into and over a structure such as a wall or door, and this spell causes the dough to rapidly ferment, bursting through cracks with a surprising amount of force. The stickiness of the dough will hold most objects together for a few hours, if not well. Congratulations, you now have a bridge you can pull apart and eat.

Level 2 Batterwitch Spell
This spell can be cast two ways. As a curse, it causes a target to start puking huge quantities of raisins, along with the occasional chocolate chip. The target will continue throwing up until they pass a save, DC based on how much they like dried fruit. This spell may cause people to choke to death, though they should look kind of funny doing so.
Alternatively, opening wide their mouth, the Batterwitch vomits forth a never-ending stream of surprisingly dry sultanas, stopping only when they run out of breath. If, for whatever reason, the Batterwitch does not need to breathe they're probably still going to have to stop before their jaw falls off.

Level 1/2/3/etc Batterwitch Spell
Pouring a portion of their magic yeast into a cup/bowl/barrel/etc of fresh flour and water, the Batterwitch stirs up a 1/2/3HD familiar; stats as your favourite ooze. This doughy creation will obey the commands of the Batterwitch until it melts away in 1 hour/day/week/etc. Doughboys (and girls!) can be tempted with gifts of milled flour, but are not smart enough to actually help anyone but the Batterwitch enact schemes. Baking a doughboy will increase their AC and double their life span. Good luck finding an oven the size of a castle though.

This one's the worst
Only you can decide.

This one is clearly grosser
But which picture is more gross?

DM's Notes:
  • Male Batterwitches are also just called Batterwitches, because Batterwarlock sounds dumb and ruins the reference.
  • If a Batterwitch, PC or otherwise, every gets thrown into an oven they will go absolutely batshit. It turns out that all Batterwitches develop an innate fear of being cooked alive that will manifest itself as them thrashing about screaming and turning everything into bread. Just because you're good at something doesn't mean you don't wake up screaming because you thought for a second that you WERE the baggel.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Garbage Animals of Fantasy

  • Yudash
The yudash looks like an emaciated black goat only even gnarlier and more horrifying somehow. Its horns are never symmetrical, it has permanent mange and its shit is the acrid, virulent green of duck shit. It feeds on blame. A yudash will rock up in a town where something bad has happened, like the harvest was lackluster or a well-liked child had pneumonia, and hang around in backyards and common grazing land until people start to think it's bringing bad luck on them somehow. It has no power whatsoever, of any kind, to actually do this, and won't even go out of its way to make your life miserable, except insofar as it's just generally unpleasant to be around. It doesn't even know what "blame" is, really, it's not smart enough for that. It just knows when it's hungry or full.

People will often hire adventuring parties to kill a yudash. It's pretty hard to kill for, like, a group of peasants - it's quick and crafty and bites and kicks and hides super well and is in general difficult to corner. It is still basically just a goat, though. Afterwards there will often be a small celebration, followed by the realization that little Jemmy still has heart cancer and the yams haven't started growing again and hey, maybe the PCs lied about killing the yudash, or were secretly in league with it the whole time? Anyway they're definitely not getting paid. We don't have any fucking money, we were kind of banking on the wheat market to pick up again once you killed the fucking yudash.

In times of plenty yudashes will often starve to death.

what the fuck is this
  • Puffer Pigeon
When startled this pigeon will, in a fraction of a second, inflate into a perfect sphere three feet in diameter.

I don't care who you are, this is fucking terrifying. Make a Will save. If you fail congratulations, you're falling off the ledge to your death. The good news is now that you know about this you'll never be surprised by it again. The people of the cities where puffer pigeons live don't tell visitors about them because it's an effective anti-thief deterrent and also because they think it's hilarious. They are right.

They also have these weird curly feathers for some reason. If you get close enough to investigate the weird curly feathers then BOOM.

who knew there were so many garbage animals in the world
  • Toad With Teeth
One toad in every five thousand is born with a perfect set of human teeth. This means they also have the teeth when they are tadpoles, for those of you keeping track of how toads work. The teeth only get bigger and pearlier with age. They are much prized as dentures, and worth a fair bit on the open market. The only question is, where are you going to get five thousand toads?

i fucking knew google image search would come through for me

  • Public Relations Mouse
Everyone knows that rats are disgusting garbage animals, but for some reason people think mice are cute and precious and appropriate protagonists for children's books. Actual mice, of course, eat all your food and transmit the hantavirus. Why do they have such a good reputation? The answer is that some mice, not many - less than the percentage of toads which have teeth - are Public Relations Mice, whose job it is to make all other mice look good. They are pure white in colour, even smaller and more adorable than a regular mouse, and have the power to crawl into your ear while you are sleeping and enter your dreams. While in your dreams they will make you dream good things about mice and bad things about cats, snakes, traps, etc. Our superstition about black cats was actually planted in us by Public Relations Mice.

The mouse will emerge from your mouth five to ten minutes before you wake up. That's if you wake up on a normal schedule. If you are startled awake the mouse will be stuck in your brain until you go back to sleep again. As long as it's in there you get a penalty to any attempt to kill a mouse or do anything else mouse-unfriendly. The mouse could actually emerge, via your mouth, at any time, but this would probably make you hate mice forever, so its instincts compel it not to do this - even when it begins to get hungry, which it does on a normal schedule. If a Public Relations Mouse starves to death in your brain only complex magical surgery can extract it. If you don't get the surgery you become slowly obsessed with befriending mice, constructing miniature palaces for them, running naked through the streets proclaiming yourself the Rodent Slave, etc.

If you realize you've got a mouse in there and you don't want to go to sleep for whatever reason you can feed the mouse by thinking very, very hard about cheese. This requires a concentration check of some kind. What's the hardest you've ever thought about cheese? Harder than that.


  • Bingko
If you compress this tiny, wall-crawling lizard perfectly flat, say in the frame of a door or between two pages of a heavy book, it will enter a state of suspended animation which can last thousands of years. In times of famine bingkos will seek out places to be crushed, hoping to wake up when there's more delicious flies around. They look, and are, prehistoric.

Legend speaks of really gigantically big ones, buried under landslides, but that's just bullshit made up to make them sound more interesting. Hopefully.

i don't know why they do this
  • Circular Owl
This owl's face looks exactly the same upside-down as rightside-up and can revolve freely, like a lazy susan. In addition, it has another face on the back of its head, which can also revolve freely. The third axis has only a limited range of motion, because anything else would be silly. Often the owl will spin its two faces different ways while also turning its head around and around. This can be a little difficult to deal with. 

Circular owls are much prized as familiars by wizards who are trying too hard. They make excellent sentries and hunting birds. If you do some kind of spell to look through their eyes you get a Fortitude save to not throw up, but you also get the obvious benefits of 360 vision. Not to mention night vision, I guess. If they do the thing where they spin all their faces at once guess what, you have to to make another Fortitude save.

  • Proletaricat
Everyone knows that rats have kings and owls have parliaments. It is less well known that cats are unionized.

What your cat does at night is, she goes to an abandoned building or a warehouse somewhere to meet up with a bunch of other cats. There's an obligatory phase of hissing at and biting each other, which is basically just cat small talk, before the evening's speaker - generally either a local cat boss or a politically important cat on a lecture tour - gets up and delivers a stirring diatribe upon the vicious injustices meted out to all cats everywhere and how the time must come when cats rise up, suffocate their human masters in their sleep, scratch their eyes out, choke them to death with allergies and take their rightful place as masters of the globe. Then come minor bureaucratic matters like who gets to shit in whose rosebush before the whole thing descends into a bloodthirsty free-for-all / orgy.

Occasionally there will be a bout of revolutionary cat action and a couple of people will get tripped down stairs in the middle of the night but nothing serious will ever come of it because the cats are simply not well organized enough. It would take a genius to bring about the prophesized cat uprising. I'm not going to make a joke about Chairman Meow here because the word "mao" just means cat in Chinese and is therefore not a pun. Also cats don't have opposable thumbs, so they would find it very hard to deal with the world once they had conquered it, a problem which the major cat political philosophers consider of secondary importance.

If your cat finds out that you know she's doing this she will kill you. Cats have that shit on lock.


Wednesday, 18 February 2015

The Classic Classes: New People Edition

An Uncapitalised Intro into DnD 3.5 Classes

Barbarian - big fuck with axe. or hammer. or axe AND hammer. you will hit stuff, you will yell, I will probably give you bonuses if you yell irl. usually dirty and angry, but you could also be clean and angry if you really want.

Bard - skinny fuck with lute. or flute. probably not lute AND flute because you are a useless piece of shit. you literally just run around singing to inspire your comrades, and then write a poem about how you took Baron Dickcruncher III on all on your own. if you sing irl i will kill your character.

Cleric - you love god, and god loves you back. you will heal friends, you will turn the undead to ash, and you will probably do some specific weird shit based on the specific weird god you create. feel free to creep everyone else out by being a bit too intense about tentacles.

Druid - you love nature, and nature loves you back. you will heal, uh, plants I guess, but mostly you will use the forces of nature to crush, burn, freeze and otherwise maim your foes. you get a pet and at some point can turn into an animal. feel free to creep everyone else out by being a bit too into horses.

Fighter - this is the super boring class, but it can do some cool stuff if you really get into the mechanics of the game. Aragon was a fighter so you can be him if that gets you wet. you want any specific combination of weapons and leadership and this is pretty much your jive.

Monk - this is the super racist class. you are a mystic warrior from whatever qualifies as the Far East of the setting, even if the setting IS the Far East. you know kung fu and can do some really vague kung fu shit, but mostly you will punch limbs off people all day.

Paladin - you are the bestest ever person in the world and you are always right about everything, ever, because your god is always right about everything ever. if you want to not have a god and just worship your own reflection I will allow it because it's pretty appropriate. you will have plate mail, a big weapon, and the ability to fry evil things with white fire. also probably heal people, but you'll be a dick about it.

Ranger - the Legolas class, but also with a sweet pet. you are at one with the forest, but you can also hate specific kinds of creatures so much you are extra good at killing them. I only just realised how fucking weird that is. bow or double swords is the standard, and you get some cool combat tricks and, eventually, some nifty nature spells like a druid

Rogue - the sneaky lil shit class. you can make and break traps, pick locks, hide behind basically anything and if you stab someone while they aren't looking it does absolutely sweet damage. you are also probably way more concerned about your own safety, and your treasure hoard, than anything else.

Sorcerers - you are a font of magical energy the likes of which this world has never seen, or at least you like to think so. your powers come from somewhere spooky, you're not really sure where, but you shit fireballs sometimes and that's cool. you don't have many spells, but you can use any of them at any time (this is unique). think lightning, glowy runes, magical growth, exploding everythings, and running out of spells right when you really need them.

Wizards - you are a font of magical energy the likes of which this world has never seen, or at least you like to think so. you have practised for a long time to be able to use magic, and it kinda shows. your powers are a lot like a sorcerer's, but you have a few more at any one time. motivations are probably focused on taking over the world, but mages are kinda weird people and I don't wanna presume.

Lastly. Remember that DnD is about making shit up, so you can play these classes any way you want, or try to figure out something else cool that you wanna be. Let the DM sort it out, and if they can't, get a better DM.

Thursday, 5 February 2015


What are drangongs you ask.

Drangongs are a cross between dugongs and dragons. Obviously. Don't you feel stupid for asking. They look like this:

If it was also this:

They live in estuaries and mangrove swamps, eating seagrass, because they are dugongs, but also they can fly, because they are dragons. But they can't fly very high, no more than five or six feet off the ground, because what they mostly are is dugongs. What they mostly use this ability for is to bobble around at PC head level, poking curiously at helmets and bumping into stuff in a harmless manner. If you have a feather in your hat or particularly fluffy hair they will think it's seagrass and try to eat it. They can't fly unless they flap their pathetically tiny flipper-wings, even though this makes no aerodynamic sense. Exceptionally wrinkled and ancient ones will grow up to a hundred feet long, though at no point will they cease to look and act like complete idiots. The old ones can talk, and will dispense extremely bad advice, often pontificating at length on subjects they know nothing about. If disagreed with they will be quietly patronizing. If you manage to convince them that they're wrong, 50% chance they forget within a minute that they ever held the opposite position, 50% chance they revert to their original position within a minute and forget you ever had the conversation. They have a variety of beneficial spell-like abilities of the cure moderate wounds or remove curse variety but convincing them to use one can be tricky because they have extremely poor memories and often become fixated on things that happened hundreds of years ago, so they'll think anyone in green is a soldier of the Queen of Beetles, even though she was eaten by her own beetles in  the concluding years of the Time of Unpleasantness. They are exactly as useful as repositories of local history as you might expect. They all think they're geniuses. They sound like Goofy would sound if Goofy was a whale.

Drangong meat tastes delicious. Local communities either revere them as gods or hunt the shit out of them, sometimes both. It's easy to drive them towards nets at the mouth of rivers, say, or just sneak up on them while they're asleep and spear them in the neck. This is one reason why so few of them grow old enough to learn to talk. Anyone eating the drangong's meat, however, becomes afflicted with the curse of the drangong, which makes you exactly as stupid as the drangong. Whenever you try to do anything, make a Will save or do it in the manner that a complete idiot would do it. Lasts until you get it removed, possibly by a drangong, although why would they want to, or until you've failed five consecutive Will saves, at which point the curse ought to be the least of your problems. A drangong can also bestow this curse on somebody by kissing them on the mouth with its big slobbery lips, which is basically their only natural defense.

In some societies, one member of the tribe is designated as the official drangong-eater, and becomes a sort of holy fool. Others just sell it to rich people, who can generally find a use for it. It's a delicacy in certain courts and the supply is tightly controlled by dudes who have spears and an intimate knowledge of the treacherous and insect-riddled marshes in which drangongs so often make their home. The biggest obstacle in a drangong hunt is almost never the drangong itself.

This post is a test.

Protip it's actually not a test post, it's the best entry on the blog. Once you figure out what it means Gary Gygax will appear at your door, combing grave dust out of his beard, to shake your hand.